Carpal Tunnel Surgery


Dr. Nathan Lesley explains the benefits of carpal tunnel surgery using modern techniques. Recovery is much faster now than in years past, thanks to less invasive techniques. In fact, patients can have full use of their hand immediately after surgery, although heavy lifting and other strain must be avoided for up to two weeks.

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[00:00:06.200] The treatment of choice is to open the carpal tunnel. [00:00:09.760] That's a very simple thing to do. [00:00:12.040] There are numerous methods by which we can all open the carpal tunnel. [00:00:16.600] The primary one that we use is by putting a camera [00:00:19.280] inside the carpal tunnel [00:00:21.560] from the forearm, go into the hand and just open the tunnel. [00:00:27.400] When I say that, there is a ligament here, [00:00:30.480] it just needs to be released by cutting it down the middle. [00:00:33.760] Immediately that carpal tunnel will open and the pressure goes away. [00:00:38.400] There will be some pain there for a little while, [00:00:40.160] but you do have immediate use of the hand. [00:00:43.640] Patients generally experience immediate improvement in their symptoms. [00:00:48.960] There are other ways to open the carpal tunnel [00:00:51.440] without the use of a camera, [00:00:53.200] and we offer all of those here for those patients that need that. [00:00:57.920] The recovery from carpal tunnel surgery has improved significantly [00:01:01.200] even in my 15-year career. [00:01:03.960] The previous thinking was that a large incision was necessary [00:01:08.800] and that the hand needed to be immobilized [00:01:12.880] for a matter of weeks or maybe even a month [00:01:15.640] in order to allow all that tissue to heal. [00:01:18.280] You'll hear of patients who say, "My mother had carpal tunnel release, [00:01:22.560] and it was a major surgery, [00:01:24.040] and it took her six months to get over it." [00:01:26.400] That was true. [00:01:27.520] But we know now that amount of trauma, [00:01:30.760] and that amount of immobilization is really not necessary. [00:01:33.600] The recovery for the carpal tunnel surgery performed nowadays, [00:01:37.960] and certainly the ones that are performed here is much different. [00:01:41.240] We allow immediate use of the hand, full range of motion. [00:01:45.080] I do not recommend the use of a splint. [00:01:48.040] We just put a soft bandage and allow patients to go back to full use, [00:01:51.680] immediately. [00:01:53.240] There is a small incision, so we want to protect that [00:01:55.600] and prevent with infection. [00:01:57.320] That means keeping it dry for a matter of days. [00:01:59.800] I usually place two sutures [00:02:01.920] and those are left in place for about 6-8 days. [00:02:06.480] But return to most activities is immediate. [00:02:09.000] Return to heavy lifting activities [00:02:10.920] or working as a mechanic or a carpenter [00:02:14.400] will be on the order of a week or two [00:02:16.760] before I would recommend that you attempt that.

Hand to Shoulder team in the surgical suite

The Hand to Shoulder Center

At The Hand to Shoulder Center in Fort Worth, TX, our team of fellowship-trained hand, elbow, and shoulder surgeons treat any and all conditions from the shoulder to the fingertip. Our surgeons perform both elective and reconstructive procedures, including:

  • Joint Replacement
  • Traumatic Injury Surgery
  • Arthroscopic Surgery
  • Microsurgery
  • Minimally Invasive Surgery
  • Wide Awake Local Anesthesia Only Surgery

Our physicians are associated with the American Society for Surgery of the Hand and the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery. For more information or to request an appointment, please contact us online or call (817) 420-9238.

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